Besides helping to manage our mouse and rodent population, it may be hard to think of anything beneficial about snakes – especially poisonous ones. Yet there may be a surprising silver lining to slithery serpents: innovative new treatments for cancer.
Just ask Steve MacKessy of the University of Northern Colorado. He’s been collecting and studying snake venom for decades, freeze-drying the venom to retain its properties. He still works with samples gathered as many as 40 years ago, sharing, “A lot of other protein drugs are inherently unstable, but venoms in particular are designed to be stable under bad conditions.”
Because the toxins in the venom bind very specifically to the receptors of its prey, they have the potential to target only the cancer cells themselves, unlike … Read More »